ISSN 0124-0064
printed version



Scope and policy

The Universidad Nacional de Colombia's Revista de Salud Publica is published quarterly and has national and international circulation in March, June, September and December. It is dedicated to broadcasting the research results and knowledge in different public health fields and disciplines and promotes the exchange of opinions leading to strengthening the role of public health as a tool for improving the population's quality of life.

The Institute of Public Health is the academic unit responsible for the Revista de Salud Publica.

It invites authors to read the Author Instructions at length and look at one of the latest editions of the Revista de Salud Publica. The recent instructions and editions of the Revista de Salud Publica can be found at:

Content and audiences

The authors are responsible for the contents, judgements and opinions of each article.

Most of the journal is devoted to publishing original articles in the different fields of public health and related disciplines. The following are included amongst other specific areas or fields: health policy, health development and economics, equity in health, social security, epidemiological surveillance, epidemiology, health administration, occupational health, disasters, communication and information, legislation, community and social participation, promoting health, health systems and services, health statistics, population, health education, human resources, nutrition, disability, social sciences and health, culture and health, environmental health and mental health.

The journal's readership consists of professionals working in health, social and human sciences and other professions sharing interests with public health.




Form and preparation of manuscripts


The journal publishes articles in Spanish, Portuguese and English.

Reserving rights

If the manuscript is accepted for publication, then reproduction rights will pass to the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Faculty of Medicine.

Typographical specifications

Any manuscript (including references and tables) must be prepared on letter-sized paper, in back ink, on just one side of the sheet, in double space and using font size of not less than 11. The margins must not be less than 3 cm and pages must be numbered consecutively to include all material submitted. Words must not be divided at the end of lines.

The manuscript's components and sequence must be: title and authors, summary and key words, text, acknowledgements, references, tables and legends, illustrations and figures with their legends. Each component must begin on a new page.


Additional help for preparing the manuscripts can be found at:
• International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals. Ann Inter Med. 1997; 126: 36-47.


Title and authors

Use the first page for the title and authors. The title must not exceed 15 words. It must clearly and concisely describe the article's content, avoiding the use of ambiguous words, abbreviations and interrogation and exclamation marks.

The term author is understood to mean anyone who has significantly contributed to the design and carrying out the study, as well as analysing the results, preparing the manuscript and reviewing and approving it.

When considered necessary, the work contributed by each author may be specified as well as the author having overall responsibility for the study and manuscript.

The following must be supplied regarding each author who appears in the heading: complete name, highest academic level reached, professional title, institutional affiliation, postal address, or address of office or place of work (street or equivalent), or telephone, or fax and, if available, e-mail. This information, and only this, is indispensable. The following must not be included: positions held, teaching posts, research group names, recognitions, etc. Authors will not be admitted who are just "students".

This information will be used for drawing up the list of authors who will be included in each edition of the journal. It is indispensable that the author who is to be the corresponding author (who will receive and send correspondence) be clearly indicated or, on the contrary, it will be assumed that the fist author will be responsible for such function.

Declaration of conflict of interest

The title page of all manuscripts' must include a declaration from the authors stating that they are independent regarding financing and support institutions and that interests or values different to those usually attending research have not affected the execution of the work or writing the manuscript. Manuscripts will only be considered in which the authors have no conflict of interest.

In some cases, it will be necessary for the authors to specify any support received (financial, equipment, work personnel, in kind, etc.) from people or public or private institutions for carrying out the study, as well any personal or institutional relationships which could influence the conduction, results, their interpretation and writing the manuscript.

The Editors and Editorial Committee will pay attention to possible conflicts of interest which could affect peers or reviewers' ability or which might disqualify them from making a subjective evaluation of a determined manuscript.

The Editors, the Editorial Committee and/or the reviewers declare themselves formally disabled from using the information obtained or gained in the work with the manuscripts for private or particular ends.

Summary and key words

Use the second sheet for the summary and key words. As the summary is the most widely read part of an article (as it will be admitted to bibliographic information systems) it must comply with the following requirements:

Language: the summaries of manuscripts written in Spanish or English must be presented in both Spanish and English. Articles written in Portuguese must have summaries in Portuguese and in English.

Length: 150 to 250 words

When manuscripts contain research results, a structured summary is required including strictly necessary information and just the objectives, methods, results, discussion or conclusions, or an adaptation of this format to the respective discipline. The summaries of other types of manuscripts, such as assays, reviews, short communications and similar may be presented in a different format to the foregoing, but must contain the necessary information for understanding the topic's scope and significance.

The summaries may not contain information or aspects which are not contemplated in the text, abbreviations and references to the text or bibliographic citations. They must be written in the third person.

Verify that the key words can be found in international databases in Spanish and English (NLM and Bireme).

A list of three to six key words must be included following the Summary. Only those words accepted by international data bases must be used as key words; they may be consulted at the following addresses:

Key words in Spanish and Portuguese :

Key words in English :


Citation system

The Journal's citation system is numeric (Arabic), according to order of appearance, with the references quoted placed within brackets. The quoted references must be exclusively presented in the following way: (8)

- Do not use superscript or subscript for writing the respective citation;
- When the references is placed at the end of a paragraph, it must be placed before the paragraph's final full-stop: (8). ;
- Do not underline words or phrases;
- A publication and its author or authors must only be cited once. Do not use multiple citations from the same publication with the term Op. cit.;
- Do not use text, comments or citations as footnotes. All material which might be presented in this way must be appropriately incorporated into the text;
- Do not place citations in the form of notes at the end of the text;
- When citing a study, only mention the first author's surname, without adding et al.; and
- Do not cite other citations, e.g.: 8. Cited by Comte: Chedwin R. Scientific Disciplines....

Bibliographic references

Only published material must be referred to.

The list of references must be placed on a separate sheet at the end of the article, in the same numerical order in which they were cited in the text. No automatic numbering system or indentation device must be used when compiling the references and the authors must ensure that this is so. The number of the reference and a full stop must be directly placed at the beginning, without any other appendix, e.g. 1. Díaz D...

The following indications must be strictly applied:

Articles from periodic Journals: give each author's first surname and the initials of their Christian names. Do not use "," between the surname and the initials of the Christian names. Place the title of the article, name of the journal, year of publication (followed by ";"), volume, issue within brackets (if necessary) and pages. Include only six authors and if there are more than six, place the abbreviation "et al." after the sixth author. Do not place "and" before the last author mentioned.

Example :

Soberón GA, Naro J. Equidad y atención de health en América Latina. Principios and dilemas. Bol de Sanit Panam 1985; 99(1):1-9.
March F, Coll P, Guerrero RA, Busquets E, Cayla JA, Prats G, et al. Predictors of tuberculosis transmission in prisons: an analysis using conventional and molecular methods. AIDS 2000; 14:525-535.

If the author is an institution, give its name instead of individual names.

When there is no author: Cancer in South Africa [editorial]. S Afr Med J 1994; 84:15.

Books. Give the first surname and initials of the Christian names of each author or editor. Do not use "," between the surname and the initials of the Christian names. Place the title of the book, number of the edition, place, Publisher (place ";" before the date), date and, if necessary, the pages following the abbreviation "p".

Monson RR. Occupational epidemiology. 2nd Edition. Boca Ratón, Fl: CRC Press; 1990.

White Kl, Henderson MH, eds. Epidemiology as a fundamental science. New York: Oxford University Press; 1976. p. 35-37.

Chapter in a book

Use "In" (texts in English) and "En" (texts in Spanish)

Allison RF, Dowling Wl, Munson FC. The role of the health services administrator and implications for education. In: Commission on Education for Health Administration, eds. Education for health administration. Vol. 2. Ann Arbor, MI: Health Administration Press; 1975.

Antó JM. Los métodos cuantitativos y cualitativos en la salud publica. En: Martínez FN, Antó JM, Castellanos PL, Gili M, Marset P, Navarro V. Salud Publica. Madrid: McGraw-Hill, Interamericana; 1998.


Sites on the Internet

The authors must verify that the Internet address supplied is still active and accessible; on the contrary, it must be eliminated.

American Center Society [Internet]. Available at: http://www.cancernet.nci. Consulted February 2000.

Personal communications

Personal communications must be indicated in the body of the text, within brackets, not in footnotes, indicating the date and institution of whom sent the communication.

Unpublished graduate theses
This type of material cannot be cited as reference material but may be cited, giving the respective information as a footnote in the following way: 1 Castillo L. [Evaluación del Plan de Atención Básica (PAB) en Bogotá. 2001-2004] MSc Public Health thesis [2005]. This may be found at: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

No more than one unpublished graduate thesis must be cited.

Do not include the following as references:

- Unpublished documents or summaries, even if they have been presented at conferences or congresses;
- Articles sent for publication which have not been accepted; and/or
- Book-reviews.

Reference to material "in press" must contain the name of the journal which has accepted it and the volume or issue and the probable publication date. if this date is before the date of publication in the Revista de Salud Publica, the precise reference is requested.

The appropriate way of presenting any type of material not considered above as reference must be consulted at the already indicated Internet sites.

For purposes of international indexing, the manuscript's references must be free from formatting errors. If this is not so, then the material will be returned.

Tables and boxes

Tables contain text and numerical values; Boxes only contain text. All Tables and Boxes must be drawn up in word-processor table format. Tables will not be accepted in the form of images. No more than three or four Tables or Boxes will be accepted per article, assay or review.

Each Table and Box must be cited in the text with an initial capital letter, a number and in the order in which they appear, and must be presented on a separate sheet identified by the same number, e.g. "As indicated in Table 1 or Box 1...".

The Tables must be self-explanatory and not duplicate what has been stated in the text, but rather substitute or complement them. Any abbreviation used in the headings must be explained in the footnotes accompanying a particular Table and be identified exclusively with small superscripted letters. They must only be presented with simple black, visible, horizontal lines.

Do not use the symbol "%" or any other symbol in the cells where numerical values are given; place such symbol in the Table headings. The size of a Table must be adjusted to the Journal's page-size and the print area (19.5 x 12 cm).

The Tables must form part of the same electronic file in which the text of the manuscript and its other components is sent.


Photos, graphs, maps, schemes, drawings, diagrams and similar items may be used for illustrating or amplifying the information, not for duplicating it. No more than three figures may be used per article, assay or review.

All graphs, photos, drawings and similar items will be called Figures. They must be cited in the text with an initial capital letter, identified by an Arabic number in the order in which they appear. The Figures must be presented separately, together with their respective legends, but forming part of the text of the manuscript and the electronic file. This also applies to original photos or drawings which must also be completely identified on the back of each one and be accompanied by the respective file, in the usual electronic format (GIF, TIFF, JPEG, etc).

The Revista de Salud Publica does not use colour (polychrome) in the Figures. All Figures must be designed in high resolution and quality black and white, grey or similar tones.

All Figures in an electronic file must be open to editorial work.

The Figures corresponding to graphs must not be drawn up in any image format which allows editorial work, preferably in Excel.

Any Figures, photos, drawings, etc., which have not been produced by the authors or which have been taken from a journal, book, internet site or similar, concerning which there are authors' rights or similar copyright, must be accompanied by written authorisation from the respective publishing company or the authors.

Percentages, measurement units and abbreviations

Percentages are written with "." (a decimal point), with a single decimal and leaving no space between the last numerical value and the % symbol. Do not write 23,53 %, 56,78 %, 62,1 %, but rather 23.5%, 56.8% and 62.1%.

Measurements of weight, height, length and volume must be presented in metric units (metre, kilogram, litre, etc.). Authors must the International Units' System in all cases; its abbreviations for measurement units do not have plurals or punctuation marks following the Arabic numbers. Numerical values are written in this system in groups of three, leaving a coma between each group, e.g. 1.234, 432.654 and 1.814.032 are written 1,234, 432,654 and 1,814,032. This does not apply to dates which are written as follows: 1998 and 2006.

Decimals are indicated by "." (a full stop). Use just one decimal place, rounding up to the last value, if this is the case.

Only use abbreviations when essential. These must follow their complete expanded form and be placed within brackets the first time they are used.


Ethical aspects

When necesary, include an explanation regarding the procedures followed in the study for guaranteeing compliance with the 1975 Helsinki Declaration principles and ethical standards and those of its later revisions and those stated in Colombian Ministry of Health resolution 8430/1993.

In the case of articles from studies in which patients or individuals' informed-consent forms have been used, a copy of them must be appended.


The journal provides space (depending on the material to be published and the public health context in general) for following editorial styles.


This is the point of view or opinion of the Editorial committee, the Editor or invited authors. Length must be up to a 470 words

Original research articles

These report the results of original research.

The following must be stressed:

• Maximum length must be 4 500 words (without including the title, authors and summaries) and up to 40 references may be given.

• Articles having descriptive content must have a maximum length of 3 500 words and up to 20 references may be given.

Sufficient information must be included about the sources of financing the study and support received (in money, in kind or in work). If the institutions financing or supporting the study directly participated in any of the phases (design, execution, collecting information, processing it, analysing it, writing the manuscript, etc.) then the respective details must be given.

Articles are organised into the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, References, Tables and Table legends and Figures and Figure legends.

Introduction. Indicates an article's purpose, summarises the study's logical reasoning, only includes the pertinent references and does not include results or conclusions;
Methods. Describes the type of study and its design, selecting the study population and the sample, including the subjects' characteristics when required. Indicates the methods, apparatus and procedures used for obtaining the information and analysing it.
Results. Presents the results, text, Tables and illustrations in logical order. It does not repeat the data which can be found in the Tables or Figures in the text
Discussion. Emphasises the new aspects and conclusions. It does no repeat aspects included in the previous sections. It examines the implications of the findings, their limitations and projections for future research. It links the conclusions with the study's objectives, avoiding declarations and conclusions which are not related to the results. All conclusions and any recommendations must form part of the Discussion.


To facilitate writing a manuscript and evaluating it, the authors are recommended to consult the guidelines given at the following sites:

- Random and controlled studies, randomised and controlled clinical assays: CONSORT guidelines;
- Health economics: BJM guidelines;
- Sensitivity, etc. diagnostic methods: STARD guidelines;

- Clinical guidelines: GRADE system for evaluating evidence;

If you are submitting a randomized controlled trial, send with your manuscript the registration number of the trial and the name of the trial registry.


Articles concerning qualitative studies must generally follow the scheme of organisation indicated above. However, it may be necesary to specify the participants in the study and the selection criteria or how they were identified, the study's scenarios or settings, the observation criteria and methods used (e.g. interviews or focus groups), the sources of secondary information and the methods used for controlling the quality of information obtained for ensuring their reliability (e.g. triangulating sources).

Brief communications

These are summarised reports or advance information re original research. The same indications for the original articles apply. Maximum length is 2,200 words (without including the title, authors and summaries). Up to 20 references may be given.


These consist of writing about analysis and debate, sent by the interested parties or by invited authors to stimulate discussion on topics of interest in public health (i.e. health policy and systems, equity, health services, education, ethics). An essay is not an editorial giving opinion, but rather reflection supported by factual information, data, real life processes, trends, etc. whose presentation and analysis require suitable, sufficient and up-dated documentation. Maximum length must be 3,000 words (without including the title, authors and summaries). It may have up to 30 references.


Reviews are only considered to deal with those articles presenting results of analysing recent data, following one of the accepted methodologies for such purpose. It must be indicated whether a thematic review, a systematic review or meta-analysis is being dealt with. It is also indispensable that a brief description of the method used by given: the sources of information, databases, search systems, descriptors, etc. Maximum length is 3,000 words (without including the title, authors and summaries). At least 50 references must be given.

Help :

- Systematic reviews: QUOROM guidelines;
David Moher et al., for the QUOROM Group. Lancet 1999;354:1896-900.


This consists of presenting a topic, a problem, an aspect of social life, etc, regarding which new knowledge has been produced meriting being presented for interpretation, analysis, decision-making, health plans, services, etc. Maximum length is 1,500 words (without including title, authors and summaries). Up to 15 references may be given.


These consist of annotated synthesis of some published work (books, journals and other types of publication in some of the fields or topics related to public health). They must include the title of the work, authors' names and publisher. The complete name of the author of the review must be given, the institution to which he/she belongs and his/her e-mail address. Maximum length must be 500 words.

Letters to the Editor

These consist of textual analysis, comments, criticisms and suggestions concerning that published in the Revista de Salud Publica or in other scientific journal which has not been sent for consideration for publication to any other journal or means of communication. Maximum length must be 300 words (without including the authors or references) and up to 5 references, a Figure or a Table. Letters will only be received when they refer to material published in the two most recent issues of the Revista de Salud Publica. Letters must have no more than three authors who have signed the note of submission and the declaration re conflict of interests. It must include institutional identification, the address of one of the senders the authors and all the authors' e-mail addresses.


Points of polemical view about a topic being discussed. Maximum length must be 500 words and up to 3 references may be given. Each author must include institutional identification and e-mail address.

Technical note

These are devoted to examining the development, application and the use in public health of diagnostic and study methods regarding problems affecting groups and populations (screening, standardised surveys, genetic markers, immunological markers). Maximum length is 1,200 words and up to 10 references may be given. Complete information regarding each author and summaries in two languages must be included.

Other types

An attempt must be made to assimilate to any of the foregoing.



The receipt of a manuscript does not oblige its publication. All manuscripts received will be reviewed by the Editorial committee and submitted to external peer-review, usually by experts on the respective topic. The Editorial committee reserves the right to accept, reject, request that modifications be made and make corrections which it deems necessary for adjusting a particular manuscript to the style of the journal.

A manuscript will be reviewed respecting the authors' rights to confidentiality regarding the information, results and creative efforts. The reviewers and editors' rights to confidentiality will also be respected.


The Revista de Salud Publica admits comments and opinions dissenting from the opinions given in published material, accepts authors' reasoned retractions and opportunely corrects typographical errors or other types which may have been committed when publishing an article.


Sending of manuscripts

Sending a manuscript

From September 2009 onwards, the Revista de Salud Pública will only receive manuscripts submitted for consideration for publication by electronic means.

Steps for sending manuscripts by electronic means.

1. Author register

Enter via the following address:

Follow the instructions and register your profile.

2. Register all authors

This step is indispensable for avoiding later delays in managing and publishing the manuscript.

3. Send the manuscript with all its components (Tables, Figures, photos, etc.) in just one file. The file containing the manuscript must be prepared by means of a Microsoft Word-compatible word processor.

4. Scan the letter of submission and send it in a separate file which includes all the authors’ names and signatures.

The submission letter must contain the following points:

1.    Indicate that all authors are in agreement with the content, organisation and the way of presenting the manuscript;
2.    Indicate that the manuscript has not been published before nor has been sent to be considered for publication in any other national or international journal whilst it is being reviewed and decided upon by the Revista de Salud Publica’s Editorial Committee;
3.    Specify that publication of the manuscript by the Revista de Salud Publica is authorised in the case of becoming accepted, in the editorial conditions established by the same;
4.    Indicate that permission has been given for reproducing text, figures or any other material which is subject to rights being reserved and attach the respective copy of such authorisation;
5.    The names and signatures of all authors; and
6.    Attach a copy of the informed consent form used, when this is the case.

Editor Revista de Salud Pública: Carlos A. Agudelo C. Instituto de Salud Pública, Facultad de Medicina, Oficina 318, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.

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Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Oficina 318 Bogotá DC ZP 6A, Colombia
Tel.: +57 1 316-5000 Ext. 15035-15036
Fax: +57 1 316-5405